Cutcliffe, Stephen and Carl Mitcham, eds. Visions of STS; Counterpoints in Science, Technology and Society Studies.  SUNY Series in Science, Technology and Society. Albany:  State University of New York Press, 2001

Langdon Winner, "Where Technological Determinism Went"

That STS scholars no longer believe technology is an autonomous force may be reason for cautious optimism, but believing technology is socially constructed is not the same as ethical engagement in the construction of technology; and for those who do engage in one way or another, and talk about it in public (say, readers of Wired magazine), technology seems very much an impersonal  force, just as much of a Juggernaut-Leviathan as it was before the creation of STS programs.

Wiebe Bijker, "Understanding Technological Culture through a Constructivist View of Science, Technology and Society”

All who live in a technological culture (e.g. all of us) must understand the production of technology, and if possible, participate in the democratization of technology.  The production of technology, seen through a technological frame (SCOT),  includes the interpretive flexibility of objects as they are passed through relevant social groups, and the stabilization and closure of a technology across time into exemplars (such as cars) holding together systems of technology. Bijker believes that two  good STS (and SSK) goals would be (1) to encourage more public scientific and technical literacy and (2) to foster interaction between the academic "experts" and the lay people whose lives are entwined by technology.

Lars Fuglsang, "Three Perspectives in STS in the Policy Context"

There are three views in held by practitioners in STS studies:  those who believe technology dominates and drives society; those who believe that society shapes science and technology; and those who believe society and technology interact continuously.  Among those who believe technology shapes society are the economists who studied worker productivity and uncovered the enormous undocumented impact of technology on national GDP, as well as other writers who cited as positive and negative forces the exemplars (key technologies) such as the steam engine, car, or the personal computer.  Among those who focused on social shaping of technology were SSK theorists (Bloor) and political policy makers (Office of Technology Assesment).  Interactive perspectives were presented by academics operating under the SCOT aegis, among them Latour, Bijker, and Callon.  Fuglsang sees links between the three views in the following ways:  there is a phase of flexibility when a new technology is being developed, and a phase of momentum when the technology is becoming ubiquitous and (possibly) petrified into place.  Technology has a creative and destructive force in a national economy, and its potentialities for a group or an age cannot possibly be predicted.  Fuglsang, as others in the anthology, calls for a democratization of STS knowledge and for more interaction among entrenched STS practitioners.

Susan E. Cozzens, "Making Disciplines Disappear in STS"

Cozzens creates a map of STS which has essentially three countries:  the problems of STS, the responses of academics, industrialists, workers, families emeshed in problems engendered by  STS concerns, and the core Thought of STS.  As her title indicates, Cozzens wishes for disciplines to disappear, because in the main, her experience leads her to believe that academics have "coded" themselves out of public debate, and that they are unwilling to admit others into the network of legitimate STS practitioners, however unreal and unlikely such as stance may be.  A coherent set of questions and responses to STS issues (Core Thought) can only be developed if disciplinary, work, class and academic barriers are removed.


Rudi Volti, "An STS Perspective on Technology and Work"

STS analyzes the connections between technology and social change as experienced by individuals, and is particularly informative in the area of work.  Developing technology removes and creates jobs, changing not only the quantity of available jobs, but also the quality of available jobs.  Although the goods available to all consumers has risen dramatically, the rich have also gotten incrementally richer through the technology shifts of the last 20 years.  Knowing and understanding technology and science as one of the springs of power and authority allows us to make better, more informed decisions about how to meet human needs.

Robert Yager, "Science-Technolgy-Society and Education:  A Focus on Learning and How Persons Know"

Yager suggests that scientific education should not be conducted through pre-determined subjects that students should know, memorize and repeat on tests. Rather, scientific education should challenge students with questions to which they must create strategies for finding  resources and answers.  Because students so challenged will be better suited to address the issues that they will face in adult life, teachers should make a major effort to create a constructivist curriculum and classroom.

Albert Teich, "STS from a Policy Perspective"

Government engagement in STS questions is unavoidable, and should be pursued thoughtfully.
Among the issues in tension are funding for basic research -- which may not yield immediate or clear results --  and public accountability for yearly goals; the choice between fields -- e.g. biology, physics, micro-electronics -- to receive government funds; and how "sound scientific practices" is to be understood in law.  Academics in the STS field should address these issues so as to become part of the policy debates.


Richard Sclove, "STS on Other Planets"

Sclove imagines that on planet XI, there are countries where the public actually forms public policy on science and technology, and then reveals that indeed, in Denmark and the Netherlands, there are political institutions for engaging the public in "high-tech" decisions.   He suggests that none of the STS journals are really following the social consequences of new developments in technology and science, and that debating the proper description of technology production is serving the powers in charge, rather than supporting and enabling positive change.

Eulalia Perez Sedeno, "Gender:  the Missing Factor in STS"

Historially, the public field of science and technology offers particularly obvious examples of the exclusion of women, and in the field of STS studies, Perez Sedeno notes the absence of investigations into technology as it is used in private life (the traditional sphere of women).  She cites the truly dismal statistics for childbirth and female illiteracy in third world countries, and suggests that STS studies have been oblivious to the glaring inequities in the social commitment to the development of technology for one-half of the world.

Wilhelm Fudpucker, S. J.  "Postmodern Production and STS Studies:  A Revolution Ingnored"

A talk given on the occasion of his 75th birthday, Fudpucker challenges young STS practitioners to break the sterile, narcissistic mold of STS studies as they currently exist, and to study the emerging corporate structures (agile, virtual),  power-bases (multinational), and aims (solutions, not products).  He suggests that the era of mass-production is ended for first world countries, and that STS studies has simply missed the most important changes -- the totalitarianism of the flat organization -- begun in the late 20th century.